The nation’s top labor leader vowed Wednesday to work with President-elect Donald Trump to defeat the Obama administration’s controversial Asia Pacific trade agreement.
{mosads}AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he “accepts the outcome of this election.”
“The president-elect made promises in this campaign — on trade, on restoring manufacturing, on reviving our communities,” Trumka said in a statement late Wednesday after the AFL-CIO abruptly postponed a press conference scheduled for earlier in the day.
“We will work to make many of those promises a reality,” Trumka added. “If he is willing to work with us, consistent with our values, we are ready to work with him.”
The AFL-CIO endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton and canvassed for her across the country, but was caught off guard by the disappointing returns she received in Rust Belt states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where union members typically vote Democrat.
Their efforts failed as Trump won over many blue-collar workers in these states with his promise to create American jobs.
Trump and Trumka often found themselves at odds over labor policy, but defeating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) could prove to be a rare area of common ground between the Republican presidential elect and union leaders.
Both are critical of trade deals they fear will ship American jobs overseas.
In a letter sent Wednesday, the AFL-CIO urged Congress not to vote on TPP during the lame-duck session while President Obama is still in the White House.
Obama has pushed TPP as a signature issue of his trade agenda. Clinton negotiated the trade agreement as secretary of State in the Obama administration, but later came out against the deal when she was campaigning for president.
“The change voters cried out for in this campaign can be found by standing together in unions,” Trumka said. “The election is over. But we are more committed than ever to helping working people win a voice on the job and in our democracy.”
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